Monday, July 13, 2020

“Stressed” Is “Desserts” Spelled Backward

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“Stressed” Is “Desserts” Spelled Backward

Stress eating, sometimes called emotional eating, is where a person feels the need to eat (usually in large amounts) some type of “junk” or “comfort food” in response to an emotional situation rather than due to feelings of being hungry. People often do this because, in the short term, they get some relief.

An article on Employee Benefit News’ website titled, “Workers Blaming Weight Gain On Job Stress” points to a survey by CareerBuilder where 55% of U.S. workers believe they’re overweight and 44% have gained weight in their current job. Of those who gained weight, 25% said it was more than 10 pounds. These statistics are in stark contrast to the 17% who said they actually lost weight.

What’s causing workers to become fat? In the survey, more than 50% said it was because they sat all day, almost half said it was because they were too tired to exercise, and more than one-third said it was due to snacking related to stress.

The stress that’s contributing to employee obesity is the same stress that’s sabotaging an employer’s wellness program. In the same CareerBuilder survey, 25% of respondents said their employer provided a wellness benefit, some of it even on-site, but more than half of them did not take advantage of the benefit offered by their employers due to the stress of their workload and other busy aspects of their lives.

People nowadays are definitely more aware of the importance of being healthy, yet at the same time, spending longer hours at work and overall stress is preventing people from practicing good wellness habits. This stress isn’t just affecting the way people eat, it also affects their sleep, the amount of alcohol they drink, and their ability to relax and unwind.

A corporate wellness program can only do so much. It takes leadership, especially from senior executives, to motivate employees. This doesn’t mean productivity has to drop, but ways to effectively manage stress and workload should be emphasized.

Management should easily see the benefit of a workforce that’s as close to “normal” weight as possible since obesity can cost employers thousands more due to weight-related conditions like heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, not to mention the absenteeism costs associated with these conditions.

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